Those of you who follow me regularly know that I spend an inordinate amount of time watching all the pharmaceutical commercials you see nowadays, investigating the products flogged therein, and then making fun of them here. It's a strange hobby, I'll admit, but it can be quite informative, and funny as hell.
If you'd like to read all the posts in this series, then click the Bad Medicine tag at the bottom of this post.
It's apparently Penis Week here at Bad Medicine, because of the six drugs/treatments I'm about to tell you about, one-third of them are prime examples of why retiring Baby Boomers should be compelled by Force of Law to be celibate. I could not believe what I found when investigating those two...ahem...treatments.
There's an awful of lot of skin care commercials lately, too. Apparently, wrinkles and zits are back in vogue, and not to be outdone, the range of anti-depressants has now moved into the Homeopathic Realm, but at least HippieCare is cheaper than ObamaCare, right? It's almost as effective, too. Anyways, have fun. I did.
1. Amoryn - this is an herbal anti-depressant. It's another of those "All Natural" homeopathic remedies that's supposed to be better for you because it's "Natural" and doesn't put money into the pockets of Big Pharma. Amoryn claims to be a remedy for anxiety and depression, and it possesses the mystical power to "boost the brain's natural capacity for happiness". Whatever the fuck that means.
The website then goes on to repudiate those claims by then counter-claiming that the terms "anxiety", "depression" and "panic" found on the site may refer to "common emotions" and should not be interpreted as referring to medically or clinically-recognized-and-defined diseases or conditions. All "Natural Remedies", incidentally, usually have a similar disclaimer on their webpage, in very small print at the bottom of the page, and always after they make claims to be the cure for all that ails you in the first paragraph of the advert. The disclaimers continued, and I especially loved this one:
"...Statements that an ingredient found in Amoryn has been proven in clinical trials to effectively treat a disease do not represent any claim regarding the effects of Amoryn, and do not signify that Amoryn itself has been proven to effective treat that disease..."
If that wasn't Clintonian enough for you, there was the claim that Amoryn has been "Scientifically Designed" to "put a spring in your step and a smile on your face." If anyone could actually recreate that in a laboratory I'd give you a testicle. The contradictory claims come fast-and-furious.
Amoryn, apparently has been scientifically-designed to pep you up and un-depress you...provided you aren't suffering from depression, anxiety and panic in the clinical sense of those terms. And this is supposed to be medicine? So why take Amoryn at all, if it doesn't actually do what it initially claims it will?
Well, because it's cheaper (although not as effective as) than Zoloft, Prozac and Paxil, and doesn't give money to Evil Big Pharma, silly! You won't need a prescription, like you do for Marijuana. It contains an "active ingredient" called "Hyperforin", which is a fancy name for "St. John's Wort" -- which I remember from a few years ago as being everything from a cure for cancer to a source of atomic energy, depending on which Hippie you talked to. It's also heavy on B6 and B12 vitamins (most "Natural" remedies are, you know). I found an awful lot of stuff on St. John's Wort in the treatment of depression. The major proponents (Hippies) basically all say that it would be a standard treatment -- if the medical profession wasn't in bed with Big Pharma. The Medical and Scientific Professions basically say that while wiping your ass with St. John's Wort won't necessarily hurt you, it would certainly be a more effective treatment for depression than shelling out $34.99 for a bottle of this shit.
Except that Amoryn doesn't work alone! It has been "scientifically designed" to be used as part of a depression-management system...which includes two other homeopathic remedies at similar prices-- Seredyn and Mellodyn (which, I assume are "Natural" Serotonin and Melatonin, two brain chemicals in which a deficiency in either or both is often linked to depression and anxiety disorders).
Get all three at over $100.00 a month -- for basically a bunch of herbs of questionable use and some B-complex vitamins. For that money, you could get a 60-day supply of Zoloft, and that actually sorta-kinda works.
2. ExtenZe- well, if you hadn't guessed by the name, this is all about "Natural Male Enhancement", which is a code phrase for "Bigger Dick without an Embarrassing Prescription". I'm almost sorry I looked into this subject, because it led me into dark corners of the internet that I would have been quite content to remain ignorant of. Except that they were funny.
The premise behind ExtenZe is the old psychological fear that some men have that the old Pork Pistol, the trusty Pelvis Bazooka, the Jolly Old Chum-chucker just might not be up to snuff in the size department. The old "Does Size Matter?" argument which is about as tedious as the one about Chickens and Eggs. ExtenZe is a patent medicine, which means you don't need a prescription for it. It's advertised on late-night TV, on one of those infomercials, and it promises to add some length and girth to your Babymaker.
The commercial has a slutty-looking, near-Porn-star-quality chick extolling the virtues of the Blockbuster Erection in a discussion with the Pitch Man, not to mention cheap Dick Jokes a-plenty. This is supposed to put the male viewer into a tizzy wondering about the proportions of his One-eyed Wonder Worm, while simultaneously titillating him with the ideal of a sexually-frank woman who claims she'd rather have a Big One with which to occupy her time. Now for the really disturbing part; the research I had to do.
The Ultimate Penis Enlargement Guide (who knew?) absolutely raves about ExtenZe, while it's rival Ultimate Shaft (I shit you not), recommends you give this stuff a very wide berth, ranking it only #3 on it's list of Approved Peenie Products because there's a lot of "fake" ExtenZe out there, and you might not get the real thing. In the meantime, you can amuse yourself with this review in Penis Pills Reviews (I swear, there's some really sick and self-absorbed fuckers on this planet with entirely-too-much free time), which positively calls this one of the Greatest Inventions of the 21st Century (they didn't, really).
So, just what's in this Wonder Drug for the Willie, this Cornucopia of Cock, this veritable Plethora of Penis, this...ummm...Erector... of the Tower of Tallywhacker? The active ingredients seem to be a who's-who of the "Natural Medicine" rogue's gallery: Ginseng, Oatstraw, Cayenne Pepper, Ginko Biloba, Zinc and a bunch of others, which according to Hippies Everywhere , have been hyped for years as the "Wonder Cures" for everything from a purple hemorrhoid to multiple gunshot wounds to the face. Some guys might actually get a little extra lead in the pencil -- because some of these ingredients do improve blood flow -- but you won't be ringing doorbells, making pancakes, or typing the Great American Novel hands-free nor should you be expecting to frighten the children on Halloween with your special ventriloquist's act.
So, why MUST you have ExtenZe? Why, if you were an aging Baby Boomer, and medical science was making it possible for you to live a longer, healthier life with the possibility of being able to fuck like a 20-yr old way into your 70's-and-80's (thanks to Viagra and modern pharmacology), well, then you need this stuff more than you do air! Why? Because you're probably fat, ugly bald, and have enough wrinkles so that you look like a Shar-Pei after a four day lemon-juice bath. You won't get that 20-something-sexually-frank-gold-digger chick without a gimmick. At your advanced age, the only gimmicks left to you are a Fat Wad in your Wallet -- and when this fails because even some 20-yr olds have standards, you know -- you'll need Plan B: An even-Fatter Wad in your BVD's.
The theory is that the youngins will forget all about your sagging, aging, graying body if you're hung like a Thoroughbred. Not only that, but you'll be getting Porn-star quality babes, too! My favorite ExtenZe claim off the website was "Precisely control your ejaculation...". I then wondered if they meant that in terms of improved accuracy? Anyways, it's your $59.95 fantasy, so enjoy it.
3. Hydroxycut - another Patent Medicine, this one claims to be a super weight-loss aid that "boosts your metabolism", suppresses your appetite, and helps you burn more calories, all while "boosting your energy". This last claim, by the way, is a common one made by every Patent Medicine on the market, nowadays. There's an Energy Crisis that doesn't involve Fossil Fuels. You've become a Fat Slob not because you've had all the joy in life beaten out of you by everyday experience, nor because spend your days inhaling potato chips and Suzy Q's, laying on the couch or sitting on the toilet until you get Restless Leg Syndrome; no, you're a Fat Slob because you lack Energy.
"Energy" nowadays, has become a euphemism for "motivation".
So, how does Hydroxycut boost your energy...errr...I mean, motivate you to lose scads of unwanted weight? The website doesn't actually say how, except to say that it includes a Powerful Thermogenic Agent. What the fuck is a Powerful Thermogenic Agent, you may ask? I didn't know, so I had to look it up; this is something which aids, advances, enhances, promotes, expedites or stimulates metabolic activity. That means "digestion" -- because when you digest things, your body creates heat, meaning that your temperature rises, which produces sweat. So, it basically speeds up your metabolic process so that you can lose water weight, which is why a) I guess it's called "Hydroxycut", and b) why it carries this little disclaimer on the Webpage:
"It is important to maintain proper hydration."
Right, because if you don't, Hydroxycut will have you shedding so much excess water that you can expect the wages of severe dehydration, especially all that really nasty kidney dysfunction. And by the way, the "Key Ingredient" in Hydroxycut appears to be...caffeine. So, I guess we know where that "boost your Energy" nonsense comes from. You'll also find Vitamin C and Blueberry extracts in it.
While doing research, I discovered that Hydroxycut was recalled in May of 2009 after reports of users suffering severe liver damage. In response, Hydroxycut was "reformulated" (they replaced all the old, harmful ingredients with new ones) , and is now marketed as "Hydroxycut Advanced". According to a lot of stuff I've read, it's recommended that you avoid this shit like leprosy; there is the risk of hurting yourself with simple dehydration if you're not careful, or paying attention to what you're doing. This stuff is aimed at people trying to drop a lot of weight, quickly, and that by itself makes the whole thing suspect, even if the commercial does have a bikini beauty or two, and a hunky doctor in it.
4. Murad - when I saw it on television, it was being hyped as the Magical Cure for Bacne (Acne on your back, Ladies). I soon discovered that there is a variety of products all bearing the name "Murad", although I'm not certain if it applies to only one $35-a-tube/vat/jar face cream, or to all of them. Because there appears to be an entire line of scrubs, cosmetics, skin creams, anti-aging creams, wrinkle creams, cleansers, blackhead removers, anti-oxidant gels, pore treatments, and so forth, all part of the Murad Skin Care System.
The gist of the website is that if you use all of these products, and devote 14-hours a day to proper skin care, then you too can look like Dr. Howard Murad (pictured on the site), the creator of the entire panoply of skin care products, who himself looks like Lenin's Corpse with that glowing patina that's half-wax-half-shellac, and which might actually crack under the slightest strain. Like if you grinned, or maybe yawned. Even farted. It's reminiscent of that warm glow you get from waxed fruit when the sunlight hits it just right.
And yes, this Dr. Murad is an actual Doctor, who looks as if Ricardo Montalban and Liberace might have conspired to conceive a son. He's apparently very well preserved thanks to extensive plastic surgery, and it's almost as if he's trying to preserve all that work under a protective layer of botox, furniture polish and home-made skin-care products. Does this stuff actually work, and cure the curse of Bacne? Who the hell knows! I just found this Dr. Murad creepy enough to post about.
This is the Gay/Female version of the ExtenZe scam (see above), only instead of preying upon anxiety over the size of one's Privates, this one revolves around a fear of time and gravity undoing the work of nature and/or your plastic surgeon.
5. Pos-T-Vac - another Penile Enlargement situation. Except that Pos-T-Vac isn't a pill. Nope, it's a mechanized system, described as a "vacuum erection system", and yeah, that fuckin' freaked me out, too! The website is a laugh-a-minute.
Pos-T-Vac bills itself as the "non-surgical approach to the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction, and is a an external method for achieving a full, strong erection, suitable for sexual intercourse."
As opposed to a "full, strong erection suitable for rebuilding a carburetor", or a "full, strong erection suitable for painting a bucolic 18th-Century landscape", and my personal favorite, "a full, strong erection suitable for making a Lemon Merange Pie". I'm glad they specified.
Suffice to say that the Pos-T-Vac System includes a vacuum cylinder, a hand-or-battery-operated pump, and a collection of "tension rings". Oh, and detailed instructions. I'm beginning to imagine I might have enough details without the diagrams, thank you. What you do is slip the cylinder snugly over your semi-erect John Thomas, create a secure seal, and then use the handy pump to suck some blood into your flaccid appendage. Once you have achieved this curious state, you are then to use the tension rings to prevent the blood from flowing back out of your Industrially-aided Erection by applying uniform pressure around your now-engorged member. Just like making sausage.
Then you can have a go at Making the Beast With Two Backs, I suppose.
If THAT sounded all sorts of Medieval to you, then join the fucking club! If you actually wish to see how this works (sorry, I couldn't help it, because it was as funny as a stadium full of burning Muslims), you can go here. Be warned: this is not safe for work.
You would think they would try to find some more attractive people to advertise this thing, because the crop they picked out for this commercial makes you wish some of them weren't getting any.
And no, I did not check with Ultimate Shaft or Penis Pills Review to see what they had to say about this one. I was too busy laughing and trying to keep from vomiting. Incidentally, a Pos-T-Vac will set you back about $550.00, and that's not including the accessories, which include some nasty and disturbing-sounding items, like a "loading cone".
6. SkinZinc - SkinZinc is another of those homeopathic patent medicines. It claims to provide relief to those who suffer from eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, dandruff and all manner of puffy, flaky, dry, cracking and suppurating skin disorders.
It also takes great pride in being "Coal Tar Free". I didn't know what that meant, and so I had to look it up. It would seem to be the case that in the days before we had "Modern Medicine" people would use Cold Tar (a derivative of coal which is a main ingredient in asphalt) to treat skin diseases, especially psoriasis. It was later discovered that this treatment was dangerous -- it caused cancers -- but mostly because it is estimated that Cold Tar contains around 10,000 as-yet-unidentified chemical compounds, as well as being super-flammable.
Why, I'd almost keep the psoriasis, if given the choice.
SkinZinc also states that it does not contain steroids, a common treatment for many skin problems and the auto-immune disorders associated with them. In fact, the website is really good at telling you what isn't in SkinZinc, and I had to look elsewhere to find out what is actually in it, and what it's supposed to do.
Basically, SkinZinc is Head & Shoulders (or any other dandruff shampoo, really) in a non-shampoo, tar-and-steroid-free form. With some Zinc added to it to help it fight eczema, psoriasis, dandruff and dermatitis -- and on a very good day -- ringworm.
SkinZinc doesn;t require a prescription, and will set you back $34.99 for a 4-ounce package. For that sort of money, you could buy half-a-dozen bottles of Head & Shoulders Dandruff shampoo, I gather, and use it as a body wash. But then, you wouldn't get all that extra , super-expensive zinc, would you?